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UITH medical director wants NHIS to cover infertility in couples


University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital

The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Prof. Abdulwaheed Olatinwo, has canvassed the inclusion of infertility problems in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

He made the appeal at the weekend, while delivering the University of Ilorin’s 178th Inaugural Lecture.

He spoke on the topic: “Help for the helpless and hope for the hopeless-the medicine of reproductive possibility.”

At the event, which was moderated by the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, he lamented that many Nigerians might die childless, unless infertility is included in the scheme.

According to him, infertility requires government intervention, because it had raised many ethical, legal and social questions, even as the cost of managing it has remained enormous.

He said, all over the world, the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) has become the most efficient method for solving the societal stigma of infertility in couples. 

He said: “Infertility should be declared a public health issue, because it is socially constricted, and exists at the crossroads of medical and social realms. Its management should be given special consideration under the NHIS, to ease the burden of the affected individuals.”

Olatinwo also solicited preventive strategies in the overall prevention of infertility and child-maternal deaths in the country. 

“ART has become one of the most widely adopted and successful medical technologies in the last century. While it gives hope to the millions of couples suffering from infertility, unfortunately, ART services are still inaccessible to large sections of the population, mainly due to very high cost of treatment. 

“ART also has presented new ethical, legal and social questions that the society must address.

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